Optimizing Windows 7 for VDI
VMware VDI uses View 4.5 to deploy Microsoft Windows 7 virtual desktop systems. By reducing storage, processor and network overhead on data center infrastructure, IT managers can reduce TCO while improving ROI for virtual desktop infrastructure. VM performance can also be improved by removing services and task scheduler events that slow down virtual desktop operations.One of the best ways to reduce costs in a virtual desktop infrastructure deployment is to optimize the guest operating system. I slimmed down a virtual machine guest running Windows 7 Enterprise edition to reduce the growth of the cloned desktops in my tests of VMware View 4.5. Besides reducing the amount of storage and CPU consumed by my test VDI systems, my guest VMs got a little performance boost along the way. My tests showed that there are some limits IT managers should keep in mind when stripping down Windows 7 for use in a VDI deployment. Among other factors, it is easy to be too enthusiastic in removing services and applications that may be "little used" as opposed to "unneeded." There is no substitute for fine-tuning in your environment, but here are some milestones that I discovered on my way to creating a leaner, meaner Windows 7 reference clone.
I used the guidelines provided by the VMware View 4.5 Administrator's Guide to tune my Windows 7 systems for VDI. The first step in my optimization journey was to start with a version of Windows 7 that Microsoft provides that has already been slimmed down. I chose Windows 7 Enterprise on the assumption that only a volume license version of Windows makes sense in a VDI deployment. Specifically, I used Windows 7 Enterprise N x86, the European Union version of Windows 7, which has the unique advantage of not having Windows Media Player embedded in the code.